Much-improved Werder to push the champions

Bayern Munich v Werder Bremen
Saturday 20 April, 14:30
Live on Betfair Live Video
With five games of this incredible Bundesliga season to go, Bayern Munich are still on track for a seventh consecutive league title, a feat no club in the history of German football has achieved. At one stage the Bavarians were nine points behind their title rivals Borussia Dortmund, but a run of 15 wins from 17 league games has turned the red-and-white tanker around. The table has a much more familiar look to it now - not only are Bayern top, but they have the best attack and the second-best defence in the division.
As Niko Kovac's team chases a domestic double, Werder Bremen will stand in their way not once, but twice. The Green and Whites will look to maintain their unbeaten record in 2019 in the league, and then on Wednesday at the Weserstadion they will do battle with Bayern for a place in the DFB Cup final.
Bremen are playing with a sense of adventure in attack, with skipper Max Kruse and wing wizard Milot Rashica in particularly great form. The northerners have won five of their last six games in league and cup, and they haven't lost in any competition since a 3-2 reverse at RB Leipzig in late December. That's an unbeaten sequence of 14 matches.
The Opta stats show that Bayern have won their last 18 competitive matches against Werder, an extraordinary run of success that stretches back to September 2010. However, this is the best Werder side for years, and in Florian Kohfeldt (Germany's newly-crowned coach of the year, no less) they have someone who will find a good gameplan to take on the champions. They have also been boosted by an all-clear for keeper Jiri Pavlenka, who was injured at the weekend.
Bayern are playing very well, and coach Kovac seems to have found a system that works. However, I believe that in-form Werder can give them an exacting test, so I'll give the visitors a two-goal start on the Asian Handicap.

Brave Nurnberg to suffer a hammer blow

Bayer Leverkusen v Nurnberg
Saturday 20 April, 14:30
Live on Betfair Live Video
There's an air of tragic frustration about Nurnberg, a club that has finally found its feet in the Bundesliga, but perhaps too late to avoid the drop. Since former assistant coach Boris Schommers was promoted to replace Michael Kollner, Nurnberg have played with more of a plan and more of a footballing identity. They have put together a three-match unbeaten stretch for only the second time this season, and they were excellent against fellow strugglers Schalke last weekend, but conceded a costly late equaliser in a 1-1 draw.
Nurnberg have moved to within three points of Stuttgart in the race to escape the bottom two, but they have the worst away record in the division, and I can't see them getting anything out of this weekend's visit to the BayArena. Leverkusen have suffered three defeats in their last four games, but all of those losses were against top-half teams, and since Peter Bosz took charge they have played the role of flat-track bullies very well. In 2019, Die Werkself have beaten Stuttgart, Hannover, Freiburg and Fortuna Dusseldorf.
With outstanding teenager Kai Havertz in peerless form, and a whole host of attacking talents surrounding him, Bayer should win this comfortably as they push for Europe.

Dortmund could lose further ground

Freiburg v Borussia Dortmund
Sunday 21 April, 14:30
Live on BT Sport and Betfair Live Video
After an incredibly nervy 2-1 win over Mainz last weekend, Borussia Dortmund skipper Marco Reus looked ashen-faced, and he commented that BVB had simply forgotten how to play football in what was almost a disastrous second-half against a team that's been largely in freefall for the last few weeks. Dortmund built a 2-0 first-half lead through a Jadon Sancho double, but then made a plethora of mistakes, conceded a goal, and had keeper Roman Burki to thank for a series of outstanding saves.
The 5-0 drubbing at title rivals Bayern in Der Klassiker was always going to leave a few scars, but the second-half display against Mainz was still a shock. Dortmund have eked out dramatic wins against Mainz, Hertha Berlin, Wolfsburg and Stuttgart in the last few weeks, and while they deserve huge credit for digging deep on a regular basis, the lack of dominant victories is a concern.
Freiburg held Bayern to a 1-1 draw in their last home game, and they have lost just one of their last eight Bundesliga matches at the Schwarzwald Stadion. In games against RB Leipzig, Bayern and Borussia Monchengladbach, they have collected five points, and they have lost just one of their last three games against Dortmund.
Dortmund are the better team, but they are feeling the pressure, and I don't believe their form warrants a price of 1.57 to win the game. I'll lay the visitors.
RECOMMENDED BETS
Back Werder Bremen +2.0 on the Asian Handicap v Bayern Munich at 2.30
Back Bayer Leverkusen -1.5 on the Asian Handicap v Nurnberg at 1.83
Lay Borussia Dortmund v Freiburg at 1.57

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